Q: I've been operating under the assumption that because I'm debt-free and pay off my credit card on time (and in full) every month, that my credit score would put me in first place if I ever wanted more credit. Is this still true?
A: Unfortunately, that's not the case anymore. I've learned. In this ailing economy, lenders aren't just relying on your credit score anymore to determine your credit-worthiness. Creditors are also on the prowl for any personal information that classifies you as a "high risk" borrower like:
- do you have a home equity line
- do you live in an area hit hard by the mortgage crisis
- do you have a job in finance
It's no surprise that banks are getting stricter about their lending practices, but these tactics don't just affect those who frequently "forget" to pay-it's hurting people with squeaky-clean records. That hardly seems fair.
Trying to open a new credit card? Are you finding it harder than before? Was your credit limit slashed in half? Share your story. We feel your pain.
Be careful what you do with your credit cards too - get tips and tricks to keep your finances in line at Marie Claire's Money Channel - everything a gal needs to know about her finances... and more.Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.
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